content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: More on Inspiration

Monday, December 24, 2007

More on Inspiration

I talked in an earlier post, "Finding Inspiration", on this topic and wanted to share more. Inspiration can come from a number of ways. This time of year, especially with the music and gathering of loved ones and friends, those warm memories and thoughts are created. But what if you don’t have the external reminders that bring inspiration? What do you draw on then?

Sometimes, it’s just a passing thought and if you catch it and hold it, something can materialize from it and you’ll be amazed at the outcome. I’ll give you an example of inspiration that happened to me.

Back in 2000, I was still working in the corporate world and I was reading a book from Ram Dass entitled, Still Here, which stirred me. I came across a passage where he’s talking about facilitating an Elder Circle through the Omega Institute in New York. He describes it:

“The oldest people in the group sit in a large circle, and the younger people sit just behind them. We use a talking stick, a custom adopted from a Native American tradition, and as they are ready, members of the inner circle can walk to the center, take the talking stick, return to their seats, and share their wisdom with the rest of the group….This is an opportunity for people to share their own wisdom and to contribute it to the collective group wisdom. Many people flower in the richness of this process, as the group becomes aware of how each person holds some part of the complex mosaic that is elder wisdom.”
I read this and had a fleeting thought, “Why not have something like this in the corporate world? We need to be able to talk and ‘flower’.” I mentioned it to my manager and he said to put something together and that evening on the way home on the bus, there I sat in the back writing notes in the back pages of a pocket calendar. My bus ride was 2 hours long with having to change buses in the middle of it all - I kept writing. The thoughts and ideas just kept flowing so much so that it was hard to contain not to mention I was running out of room to write on the pages of that small calendar. By the time I reached my destination, I had a draft outline and that night I put it in a presentation which I gave to my boss the next day. I didn’t think much about it until a couple of days later when he walked passed my desk from a meeting and said, “You’re on the hook!” I followed him into his office and asked him what he meant and he said, “You’re on the hook to give your talking-stick presentation in the next staff meeting tomorrow.” I was nervous and scared but I knew the birth of these talks was a result of acting on this inspiration. You can read another experience on this in my very first posting "Truth and Beauty".

I hope you find inspiration today in whatever you’re doing. That still small voice is poised to whisper in your ear some thought or suggestion that may put you on track for a whole new life. Tune in and enjoy the ride.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Patricia Singleton said...

Thanks for sharing the speaking stick idea. I have been in groups that have used that idea before. It is good for letting one speak without being interrupted by others.

Pat said...

Patricia - thank you for your comment. I'm happy to hear you're familiar with the talking-stick and how it's used. It also gives the one talking a feeling of courage and empowerment (especially if they're shy) and a sense of being heard.